221 Madison Street
New York, NY 10002
Runs through October 26, 2014
Most people won’t find Regina Rex’s tunnel-like basement gallery to be large in any sense of the word. But coming from a one-room studio in Ridgewood, the collective has definitely found themselves an upgrade. And with Two, Two, One they were taking advantage of that by giving each artist (Corey Escoto, Dave Hardy, EJ Hauser, and David Stein) an individual area to show off their work. Most of the time that work walked a thin line between absurdity and bleakness (if you can imagine such a thing to exist).
Before you make it inside, you’ll find the exhibition’s first work. Regina Rex kept the former owner’s storefront signage, only to have David Stein partially obscure the earlier advertisements by attaching vinyl lettering reading “The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over.” Which, of course, is one way at looking at what art does. More absurd efforts lay inside the space, notably Dave Hardy’s foam-cement-and-glass sculptures that touch the gallery’s ceiling. Hardy has made two contraption-like towers by stacking these materials atop each other. It’s hard to figure out the inner workings of such a labyrinthine support system of curving foam, lopsided glass panels, and trinkets. But it doesn’t hurt to try.
Off to the side of the gallery office, Corey Escoto’s alleyway contribution “Amazing Grace” spells out a narrative using light sensitive reflective tape. Rather than sticking tape to the walls, it’s strung up like a clothesline, and recalls an artist’s tale: “He would come to paint the expression of true regret. Many of his friends were already doing the same.” Surrounded by the alley’s natural grit—the ground carpeted in trash, bird shit, and discarded feathers—the message seemed pretty grim. —Corinna